Cherished Memoirs 83 – My Guru As I See Him

This series chronicles sweet experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji as well as some divine experiences of Sri Swamiji himself. These articles are translations from the series “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine. 

My Guru As I See Him

Everyday, several people get Sri Swamiji’s darshan and tell Him their miseries and grievances. Some come for monetary help as well. Sri Swamiji listens patiently to everything they say. He also helps them as much as He can. But, He laments that very few people come to Him for spiritual benefits.

Since He listens to people’s family issues and distress and knows the ways of the world, He incessantly preaches and lives by the fact that in this day and age, Nama Keerthan is the only path. At the same time, some make fun of and magnify the shortcomings of the other paths, while preaching their own. Sri Swamiji never does that. He says that Vedanta, Yoga, Karma Anushtaana, Bhakthi are all various ways to reach the ultimate. He questioned what was wrong in following the path that one is interested in or skilled in. But, only a few are qualified to perform these tough practices so, what would happen to others? That is why, He insists that the only dharma that can be followed by all easily, is Nama Keerthan.

He had a gripe that those who want to do spiritual practices only consider meditation, yoga or knowing self as practices but do not consider Nama chanting as a practice. Nama Keerthan alone can bestow everything that can be given by meditation, yoga and vedanta vichaara.

No other practice can purify the Mind as chanting Nama during evenings can. Sri Swamiji’s joy was boundless when He saw people that chant Nama.

Sri Balakrishnan had immense Bhakthi towards Sri Swamiji. He was a devotee of Sri Ramana Maharishi initially. He used to visit Thiruvannamalai often and did circumambulation of the mountain. He used to stay at the Ramanashram too and used to read through Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi’s works. He spoke about Ramana Maharishi whoever he spoke to. Other than Ramana Maharishi, he never visited any temples or saints. Such was his devotion to Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi.

Once he went to Hyderabad for an official trip. When he went to the Birla Mandir there, he came across a book on Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi and fondly read it too. The following incident was mentioned in that book.

“Someone considered Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa as his Guru and was following some sadhanas. But he felt that attaining a Guru who was his contemporary would help his spiritual progress. A friend of his, spoke about Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharishi and suggested that he gets His darshan.

When He went to Thiruvannamalai and got Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharishi’s darshan, there was a photo of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa next to Him. He was elated.”

Sri. Balakrishnan was drawn towards this incident. He also felt that it would be better if he attains a contemporary saint as his Guru.

In a few days, Sri. Balakrishnan got a letter from his friend Sri. Nandhakumar. He had written about Sri Swamiji and that he needed to go and get His darshan. When Sri. Balakrishnan came for Sri Swamiji’s darshan, Sri Swamiji was alone and talked about Sri Ramana Maharishi first. Sri. Balakrishnan was very surprised and happy.

He came often for Sri Swamiji’s darshan after this. Once, he stood in front of the picture of Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharishi that he used to pray to and prayed if it was His wish that he went to Sri Swamiji. The hibiscus flower that adorned the picture, fell slowly and beautifully.

Sometimes, he would come to Sri Swamiji thinking “if I am coming to Sri Swamiji because Bhagwan sent me, may Sri Swamiji touch me in a certain place”. Sri Swamiji would exactly touch him there and talk to him.

Another time when he visited, he bought a Tulsi garland and kept in his bag. He wondered if Sri Swamiji knew about it or not. Sri Swamiji spoke to him about Tulsi that day. He would take the garland by himself and give it. Thus he has devoted himself to Sri Swamiji, slowly and completely.

Article originally published in the Tamil Madhuramurali Magazine dated July 1996. Chronicled by Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman.

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